Date of this Version
A considerable portion of the historical matter contained in this volume consists of papers read at the last two annual meetings of the Society. However, in the suggestion of topics for some of these and in the selection of matter derived from other sources, the attainment of a certain degree of unity has been kept in view: by confining the discussions, so far as practicable in a publication of this character, to the territorial and earlier periods of Nebraska history.
The Society has recently come into possession of a copy of the manuscript of the late Samuel Allis, transcribed by permission of the family of the author by Mr. Henry Fontenelle, at the instance of Governor Furnas. It is here printed with the exception of the concluding portion—about one-third of the matter in bulk—which has been omitted as not of sufficient general interest; and, for the same reason, passages here and there throughout the earlier pages have been cut out. Some corrections of obvious errors or oversights have also been made without specific mention.
It has been thought desirable to begin a reprint of the more important of the "Centennial" county histories. Single copies of these have become very scarce, and but one or two complete sets, so far as we know, are in existence. For the first installment, the histories of Cass, Dodge, Sarpy, and Washington counties have been selected, because these are especially rich in memorials of the earliest pioneer life in Nebraska. For example, the account of "club-law" in Cass county, by Dr. Child, is an interesting contribution to the local history of that peculiar organization for squatter self-help—the "claim association." The history of that institution, which in the primitive settlements of Nebraska played a more stirring part, perhaps, than anywhere else in the country, will, it is hoped, receive a somewhat detailed treatment in the third volume of the Transactions.
Through the permission of the author and the approval of the Nebraska Commandery of the Loyal Legion, Capt. H. E. Palmer's account of the Powder river expedition of 1865 is here reprinted. It forms a valuable companion-piece to Lieut. E. S. Dudley's paper on our early military history. We regret, however, that the delay in receiving the pamphlet edition issued by the Loyal Legion renders it impossible to incorporate the interesting "Addenda," which was not attached to the copy furnished us by the author.
In conclusion it may be noted that President Furnas should be credited with collecting and editing the biographical section of this volume; for the remainder the subscriber [George E. Howard] is editorially responsible.
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